No Signs of Panic

Daley Lolley's post-game notes from Paul Brown Stadium:

CINCINNATI -- Looking around the locker room following the Steelers' 20-10 loss to Cincinnati, I didn't see any panic.

Watching the players interact as they got onto the plane, I didn't see any panic.

In fact, the only long face I saw early Tuesday morning was that of coach Mike Tomlin.

But even the veterans on this team - most of them anyway - aren't used to 0-2.

In fact, in this locker room, only Brett Keisel and Larry Foote have seen 0-2 while in a Pittsburgh uniform. And Foote's not in uniform at this point.

@ I see a lot of vitriol on Twitter among Steelers fans for offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

But what exactly are they expecting?

We knew going into this season that the Steelers were going to have some offensive issues until Heath Miller returned.

The injury to Le'Veon Bell only magnified that.

But it's Haley's fault?

Did Haley fumble a ball into the end zone against Tennessee when the Steelers were preparing to take a 9-0 lead?

Did Haley fumble and throw an interception in the red zone Monday night against the Bengals?

Yes, Haley made some questionable play calls - an end around to Jerricho Cotchery being chief among them - but, seriously, blaming him for this offense is like getting mad at your neighbor's dog because it barks.

The dog can't help itself.

It seems the Steelers overestimated their talent at wide receiver. I'd throw running back in there as well, but we haven't seen Bell in a game that matters, so at least they tried to fix that.

But there has been very little in the way of separation from the receivers in the first two games. And both Tennessee and Cincinnati pressed Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown at the line of scrimmage and dared them to get deep.

The few times they did get open deep, Ben Roethlisberger has overthrown them.

Miller returning will help. And that could happen as early as this week.

Getting Bell back into the equation will help as well.

@ I thought the offensive line played a solid game, for what that's worth.

It's something the Steelers can build on.

Newcomer Fernando Velasco deserved a game ball just for lining up after being with the team for less than a week and not doing anything noticeably wrong at center.

@ The inexperience of Kion Wilson and Vince Williams were exploited in coverage.

That's not exactly Wilson's forte, but it was something Williams did well in training camp and the preseason. So there's hope that he'll get better with more time.

@ I checked the official Game Book and James Harrison did play in this game. It just seemed like he didn't.


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